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Guest List for State Dinner Includes Big Names and Ordinary People

Deborah Borda and David Bohnett arrive at the White House. By Ron Sachs CNP.

March 14, 2012 — Most people have probably heard of the actor George Clooney by now. But the name Elaine Brye might not ring a bell outside of Winona, Ohio.

Both Mr. Clooney and Mrs. Brye, a mother who wrote to Mr. Obama about having four children serving in the military, are among the more than 350 guests invited to the White House on Wednesday night for a state dinner honoring the British Prime Minister David Cameron. The guest list also includes advisers, donors, entertainers, lawmakers, two teachers and an athlete who participated in the Paralympic Games.

More than two dozen of Mr. Obama's fund-raisers were on the list, including Mr. Clooney; Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue; and the investor Warren Buffett.

Some of the Obamas' old Chicago friends are in town for the dinner, too, including Martin Nesbitt and Dr. Eric Whitaker.

Several guests hail from across the Atlantic, including Hugh Bonneville, the earl of Grantham on the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey”; Rory McIlroy, the Irish top-ranked golfer; Richard Branson, an English businessman who has supported Mr. Obama's Mideast policies; Denise Lewis, an Olympic gold medalist from England; and Jony Ive, the British designer and senior vice president of Apple.

The Los Angeles delegation included the actor Idris Elba; David Bohnett, the chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Deborah Borda, the orchestra's president and chief executive. Chad Griffin, a gay rights advocate based in Los Angeles, who was recently appointed president of the Human Rights Campaign, is also a guest.

Among the official types attending the dinner are Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts; Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland; Kamala Harris, the California attorney general; and Justice Antonin Scalia.

Photo: Deborah Borda and David Bohnett arrive at the White House. By Ron Sachs CNP.

Article originally appeared in The Caucus: The Politics and Government Blog of the New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/guest-list-for-state-dinner-includes-big-names-and-ordinary-people/

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